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Adur District residents: The Council Tax service for Adur District Council is provided by the CenSus Partnership Website, for full details please refer to the Discounts information on the CenSus website or the Exemptions information on the CenSus website, see also the Council Tax Discount Review information on the CenSus website.
Worthing Borough residents: please refer to the information below

Council Tax discounts and exemptions

See also:

What is a discount?

There are various discounts that can reduce the Council Tax you have to pay and are separate from Council Tax Support (previously known as Council Tax Benefit).

The Council Tax charge is based on two or more adults living in the property. If you have been awarded a reduction it will be shown on your bill. If there is any change in your circumstances that could affect your entitlement to a discount or exemption, you must tell us about it immediately to avoid a backdated charge and possible fine.

See also: Council Tax Support (Council Tax Benefit)

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Second / Holiday Homes

If you are leaving your property empty but furnished the previous discount of 10% ended on 31st March 2013.

For full details please see the Empty Properties page.

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Single Person Discount

We are currently reviewing all single person Council Tax discounts in Worthing, please complete your review online today. It will only take a couple of minutes. Complete single person discount review now.

If you are the only person aged 18 or over living in your home, you are entitled to a 25% discount off your Council Tax bill.

To apply for the single person discount please download an application form.

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Council Tax Discount / Disregards

You will not normally be able to claim a Council Tax discount if two or more adults (aged 18 and over) live in your home. However, certain people are not counted because they are 'disregarded' when we work out how many people live in a property.

Some circumstances a 'discount disregard' can be awarded whilst in others 'exemption' can be awarded. For example:

  • If two adults live in a property and one is a student and one satisfies the qualifying criteria to be treated as a student, the student will be disregarded and a 25% discount will be awarded
  • However if both adults satisfy the criteria to be treated as full time students, an exemption will be awarded

Examples of people disregarded from Council Tax are:

18 or 19 year-olds who are at, or have just left school/college after 1st April, do not have to pay Council Tax until 1st November of the same year. We will require evidence of child benefit entitlement when applying for this discount. No form required, please contact us to apply

Students and trainees do not have to pay Council Tax if they are:

  • Enrolled to undertake a course of further or higher education at a prescribed educational establishment situated in a member state
  • Undertaking a course that is of at least 24 weeks in each academic or calendar year (as the case may be) during which it subsists, and
  • Which taken together amount in each such academic or calendar year to an average of at least 21 hours a week
  • A certificate confirming the student's status will need to be obtained from the college or university
  • Correspondence courses, evening classes or courses taken in connection with a job are not included

Student nurses do not have to pay Council Tax if they are studying towards becoming a registered nurse, midwife or health visitor

Apprentices who are employed to learn a job and as part of that learning undertake a qualification recognised by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications. They must be paid no more than £195 per week before tax and expect to earn substantially more when they qualify

Trainees aged under 25 undertaking a course through an approved scheme under the Employment & Training Act 1973

People suffering severe mental impairment: Certain qualifying criteria must be met in relation to the person who is severely mentally impaired, and a certificate will need to be provided by a registered medical practitioner stating that the person concerned has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning that appears to be permanent. They must also be in receipt of one of the following state benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • The care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) paid either at the highest rate or at the middle rate; or the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) under s78(3) Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • An increase in the rate of a disablement pension
  • Constant Attendance Allowance in respect of some pensions
  • Income Support that includes a disability premium

Patients resident in a hospital or care home: People who are resident in a hospital or care home do not have to pay Council Tax provided they are receiving care and the hospital or care home is their sole or main residence

Carers must be:

  • Working for 24 hours or more each week; and
  • Earning less than £44 each week; and
  • Employed through a connection with the Crown, a charity or local authority; and
  • Resident at the property where they provide the care (or at a an alternative property that has been provided in order to carry out their duties)
  • There is no requirement for the person being cared for to be in receipt of a State Benefit.

Resident care workers must be:

  • Providing care for at least 35 hours each week; and
  • Are not a disqualified relative (e.g. a spouse, partner or parent of a disabled child).
  • In addition, the carer in this category must be providing care for a person who is entitled to one of the following State Benefits:
    • High rate Attendance Allowance
    • High rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
    • An increased rate of Disablement Pension
    • An increased rate of Constant Attendance Allowance

Members of religious communities do not have to pay Council Tax provided they do not have a personal income or capital. Such people are defined as being someone whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or any combination of these.

Members of international headquarters, defence organisations and Visiting forces to the UK

People who are detained by order of a court whether in prison, a hospital or any other do not have to pay Council Tax (apart from those detained due to non-payment of Council Tax or a fine).

People staying in hostels or night shelters. Anyone who is resident in accommodation for the homeless is does not have to pay Council Tax provided that it is not made up of self-contained units and is used essentially for people of no fixed abode.

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Reductions for annexes

From 1 April 2014 annexes that are:

  • Used by the occupier of the main house as part of their main home;
  • Occupied by a relative of the person living in the main house

will be entitled to a 50% reduction in the Council Tax payable on the annexe. The 50% reduction is in addition to any other discount that is awarded so for example if your adult son is living in the annexe on his own he will be liable for Council Tax and will be entitled to a 25% Single Person Discount and a 50% annexe reduction.

The criteria for the reduction are that the annexe must:

  • Form part of a single property that includes at least one other property i.e. the annexe must be within the grounds of the main house (although not necessarily attached); and
  • Be included in the title deeds of the main house and not registered separately; and
  • Be being:
    • Used by the resident of the main house as part of their main home;
    • Lived in by a relative of the person who lives in the main house (a relative is defined as a partner, parent, child, step-child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece and also includes great and great-great grandparents & grandchildren)

The new annex reduction is in addition to the existing Class W Exemption.

Please note that as a signature is required you can't currently apply for this discounts online.

If you think you qualify for a reduction, please download and complete an application form:

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Apply for a discount

Please note that as a signature is required (and some copies of evidence need to be attached) you can't currently apply for these discounts online.

To apply for a student discount please download an application form:

To apply for an apprentice discount please download an application form:

To apply for any other discount please download an application form:

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What is an Exemption?

A property will be exempt from Council Tax in certain circumstances. This usually happens if it is unoccupied but can also occur where all the occupiers are disregarded. Properties that qualify for an exemption must fall into one of the classes that are shown below.

If you think that your property falls into any of these classes please contact us. You may need to provide us with supporting evidence before we can award the exemption.

From 1st April 2013 the 'old' class A and class C exemptions were abolished and replaced by locally-set discounts. For full details please see the Empty Properties page.

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Exemption Classes

Council Tax is not charged on certain properties - 'exempt properties'. The classes of property exempt from Council Tax are shown below:

Exemption Classes
Class B

An empty property owned by a registered charity. The exemption lasts for a maximum of six months.

  • The property must be owned by a registered charity
  • The body must be 'established for charitable purposes'.
  • When the property was last occupied it must have been occupied 'in furtherance of the objects of the charity'.
Class D An unoccupied property that is owned by someone who is in prison or otherwise legally detained.
Class E An unoccupied property that was previously occupied by someone who is now living in a hospital, residential/care home, nursing home or hostel and that person still owns (or retains the tenancy for) the property.
Class F

An unoccupied property as the result of the death of the owner/tenant, and the executors are awaiting probate or letters of administration to be granted.

The exemption ends six months after probate or letters of administration have been granted.

Class G An empty property where the law prevents anyone from living there.
Class H An empty property held vacant awaiting occupation by a Minister of Religion.
Class I An unoccupied property that was previously occupied by someone who is now receiving personal care in a place other than a hospital or care home.
Class J An unoccupied property that was previously occupied by someone who is now living elsewhere for the purpose of providing personal care to another person.
Class K An unoccupied property that was previously occupied by students (or people who will become students within six weeks of leaving the property).
Class L An unoccupied property that has been repossessed.
Class M A property that is a student halls of residence. The property must be owned or managed by an educational establishment, or an educational establishment must nominate the majority of the residents.
Class N

A property that is only occupied by full-time students (and their spouses or dependants who are not EU Citizens). The exemption also applies between 1 May and 31 October in respect of school or college leavers who have recently left their place of study.

A person is disregarded if they are:

  • the spouse or dependant of a student within the meaning of paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act; and
  • not a British citizen and who is prevented (by the terms of his/her leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom) from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits/support
Class O A property that is armed Forces accommodation owned by the Ministry of Defence.
Class P

A property that is occupied by:

  • a member of a visiting force from a country to which the Visiting Forces Act 1952 applies; or
  • a member of a civilian component of the force.
Class Q An unoccupied property left by someone who has become bankrupt.
Class R An unoccupied caravan pitch or boat mooring.
Class S An occupied property where all the occupants are under the age of 18.
Class T Unoccupied accommodation (which is separately banded) that forms part of another occupied property, and the unoccupied part cannot be let separately without breaking planning control requirements under section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (e.g. an empty granny annexe).
Class U A property that is solely occupied by people who are all severely mentally impaired and who would otherwise be liable for Council Tax.
Class V A property that is the main residence of a person with diplomatic privilege or immunity.
Class W An annex (which is separately banded) that forms part of the main accommodation consisting of a single property with two or more dwellings, where the annex is occupied by a dependent relative of the resident of the main dwelling. A dependent relative is someone aged 65 or over, severely mentally impaired or substantially and permanently disabled. This exemption may apply to occupied granny annexes.

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Apply for an exemption

Please note that as a signature is required you can't currently apply for this exemption online.

To apply for a exemption please download an application form:

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Disabled reduction scheme

Your Council Tax liability may be reduced by one valuation band (or 1/9th of band D if the property is already in band A) providing your home has certain features that are essential, or of major importance, to the well-being of someone who is disabled and resident in the dwelling. The disabled person can be an adult or a child.

The 'essential features' are:

  • A room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) that is predominantly used by the disabled person in order to meet their needs;
  • An additional bathroom or kitchen for the use of the disabled person;
  • Extra space to allow for the use of a wheelchair in the property

Please note that as a signature is required you can't currently apply for this reduction online.

To apply for the Disabled reduction scheme please download an application form:

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Changes you must tell us about

There are changes you must tell us about which may affect your discount or exemption, failure to do so may lead to a fine, for further details please see Moving and tell us about a change.

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